1. What’s Going on in this Graph?
One of the main ways information is presented is through graphs, in fact, Data Visualization is an emerging career for people who like to creatively take information and turn it into pictures. The goal of this question is to read, interpret, describe, and analyze information presented in graphical form.
Under the link below, there are links to lots of various graphs from a New York Times column called “What’s Going on in this Graph?”
Your job is to choose one graph that you think looks interesting (if you scroll down further on the page, there are lots to choose from). Read the article attached to the graph and answer the following questions about your graph.
When you’re answering these questions, keep in mind that you should be writing to explain and teach your reader about your ideas.
Describe the Graph
1. First, write a description explaining what information this graph represents and how it communicates its information. (Think of this task as explaining what the graph looks like and what information the graph shows to someone who has not seen the graph.)
2. What quantitative (numerical) information does this graph describe?
3. Describe two quantitative variables not shown in the graph that you think would be interesting to measure.
4. What qualitative (categorical) information does this graph describe?
5. Describe two qualitative variables not shown in the graph that you think would be interesting to measure.
Interpret the Graph
1. What do you think the graph’s author’s main point is? What is the main idea you think they are trying to convey to the reader?
2. Describe two possible choices that the author made that could bias the reader’s interpretation of the information presented. What might the reader be led to believe by these choices?
3. What is the title of the article containing the graph? Do you think this has any effect on the reader’s perception of the information presented?
4. Describe a possible way (other than the title) that the graph’s presentation may bias the reader’s perception.
Comment on the Graph
1.What do you find effective about the data display? That is, what features of the graph do you think help get the information across the best?
2.What is confusing about the data display?
3. Describe one thing you might do differently if you were making this graph.
2). 2. Experimental Design
The goal of this part of this assignment is to think about the pieces of an experiment. Below, I’ve described three scenarios in which we could design an experiment. I have purposefully left many of the choices of the experiment up to you, the experiment designer! Throughout your descriptions, be sure to explain your thoughts and choices about your experiment to your reader.
Choose one of these scenarios, then follow the Tasks below to brainstorm, design, and reflect on your choices.
i. You are curious about how eating breakfast affects a person’s mind and body.
For concreteness, let’s assume that Breakfast is a meal that participants would eat (or not eat) at 9 a.m., and you would make your proposed measurements about their mind and/or body at 11 a.m.
ii. You are a consultant for various restaurants nationwide as they design and format their menus. You are curious to find out how the menu design and formatting choices affect how much money the restaurant makes.
iii. You are curious to find out how testing-room conditions affect one’s ability to take a test. You will get participants to take a test of critical-thinking puzzles that have no preparatory studying or previous experience required.
1. Brainstorm 4 possible factors that would be easy to manipulate in this experiment. Choose 2 that you think are the most interesting to think about. For each factor, choose 3 levels you want to include for each factor.
2. Brainstorm 2 possible factors that would be difficult to manipulate. Then choose one of those as a blocking variable.
3. Brainstorm 3 possible response variables you could measure.
4. Draw a blocking diagram for this experiment showing the blocks and the treatment groups.
5. For the blocking variable and each of the factors that you chose, hypothesize about how you think they will affect your response variables. That is, describe what effects (if any) you predict your explanatory variables will have on your response variables.
6. Identify 3 possible extraneous variables (that are not related to your explanatory variables) and discuss how each one might affect your results. Do you think that the extraneous variable will exaggerate or obscure the connection between your explanatory variables and your response variables? Explain your thoughts.